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What's on the menu? Gubernatorial grits and good conversation

Since the first week of the legislative session, Gov. Pat McCrory has invited 29 state lawmakers to breakfast at the mansion.

The roster includes powerful Republicans -- House and Senate majority leaders and committee chairs -- but not one Democrat, according to a list of names received by The News & Observer through a records request.

Gang of Five Democrat draws primary

State Rep. William Brisson, a conservative Democrat who sided with Republicans to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the state budget, will get a primary challenger.

Elizabethtown attorney Matt Dixon announced this week that he would seek the Democratic nomination in state House District 22. In a statement, Dixon said he will focus his campaign on returning education funding cut under the budget Brisson and Republican leaders crafted. "If elected, I will work to restore local funding and education jobs lost during the last session of the legislature," he said in a statement.

Brisson is one of the so-called Gang of Five Democrats who sided with Republicans on the budget. He said he voted for the budget because it preserved a prison in his district that was slated for closure.

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